Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Jane Bowes

Forest Friends

Pages: 118 Ratings:
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In a world where creatures are judged by their size and species, Kao stands out. Despite being a towering grizzly bear, his heart is as tender as a cub’s. Born to be a symbol of fear and power, Kao struggles to find his place. How can one make friends when mere appearances send others fleeing in terror? As Kao embarks on a journey away from his family, he hopes to find not only adventure but also a path to becoming the bear he truly desires to be.

In the second story, a boy named Bobby faces daily bullying, but his dreary life changes when a mysterious old woman named Martha comes to his rescue, chasing his tormentors away with a pistol. As Bobby is welcomed into Martha’s peculiar home, he discovers her secret past as a globetrotting spy. Through dress-up games and swapping stories, these new friends find joy, purpose, and the courage to face life’s obstacles.

This charming collection reminds readers that kindness and bravery can be found in the most unlikely of hearts. Suitable for middle grade readers.

Jane Bowes was born in Hexham, Northumberland in 1975, into an animal loving family. Her father, Robert, was an electrical engineer and qualified riding instructor, while her mother, Jean, managed a stable. They later moved to Morpeth where they helped run the North of England Equestrian centre which unfortunately is no longer active. She grew up with one younger sister but had a large extended family. Throughout her life, her main interests have been horses and dogs, although she loves all animals. She competed her horses in show jumping and eventing until a bad fall restricted her ability to ride at the same level.


Her favourite subject in school was English and she was always an avid reader. As early as eight years old, she wrote short stories, although she was too shy to share them with anyone. Over the years, she had various jobs working with horses, was a postwoman, and even worked in care. Throughout this time, she consistently wrote stories but struggled to finish them. Then someone suggested she should write children’s stories as she had a great imagination. An idea sparked after watching an interview on a chat show, setting her on the path to her first children’s manuscript. She lives in Lincolnshire with her four dogs and still has her horse which is now 20 years old and is ridden by her niece.

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